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Abstract: PO2022

Impact of Participation in Food Assistance Programs Among NHANES Dialysis Patients from 2001-2016

Session Information

Category: Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism

  • 1300 Health Maintenance, Nutrition, and Metabolism


  • Chen, Hannah, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Borgi, Lea, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Food insecurity and malnutrition are recognized risk factors for poor outcomes and mortality among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on dialysis. However, little is known about the effect(s) of participation in food assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on outcomes among dialysis patients.


This study is a cross-sectional analysis of dialysis patients in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cohorts from 2001-2016. Food assistance program participation was self-reported as part of the NHANES interview. Differences in baseline characteristics were determined through null hypothesis testing. Logistic and linear regressions were used to examine the association between food assistance program participation and outcomes including hospitalizations and albumin as a marker of nutrition status. The analyses were adjusted for demographics, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.


A total of 156 dialysis patients were analyzed across all NHANES cohorts. Dialysis patients receiving food assistance were more likely to be younger, female, and obese (p<0.05). Food assistance participants had significantly larger household size, but lower income and lower levels of post-secondary education (p<0.05). These patients also reported significantly higher daily sugar intake. Dialysis patients receiving food assistance were significantly more likely to report very low food security and less likely to report full food security. Specifically, they reported more concerns regarding food running out, food not lasting, and not being able to afford balanced meals. Approximately 30% of dialysis patients report food insecurity but do not participate in food assistance programs. When adjusted to be representative of the non-institutionalized U.S. population, there was a non-significant trend towards increased hospitalization among dialysis patients on food assistance programs (OR 1.73 [95% CI: 0.42-7.12]). There was a non-significant negative correlation between food assistance program participation and serum.


Food assistance programs are not widely used among dialysis patients, even when patients report food insecurity. Food assistance program participation among dialysis patients did not significantly impact hospitalizations and serum albumin.